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Neighborhood Crush: Flatiron

By , July 8, 2014

For this installment of Neighborhood Crush, I spoke with Lauren Patterson, founder of Little Swappies. Her company arranges children’s clothing and toy swaps, bringing communities of parents together to find good homes for their unneeded items and pick up some they do need (all unclaimed items are donated to charity partners Room to Grow and Covenant House). Patterson has lived in the Flatiron/Chelsea section of Manhattan for three years. She and her husband have two children, and they make the most out of their time in the neighborhood. Here, she shares some of her favorite spots in and around Flatiron.

 

Lauren Patterson at The Commons (Photo: Courtesy Lauren Patterson)

The Commons
The Commons is my favorite neighborhood coffee spot. It is a tiny space on Seventh Avenue and 17th Street, and it’s the strongest coffee around. Seating is limited, but the owners are very friendly and accommodating. Their avocado toast rates right up there with Café Gitane. 128 7th Ave., 212-929-9333, thecommonschelsea.com

The Family-Friendly Restaurants
We love to have family brunch. There are some great kid-friendly restaurants in our neighborhood like Big Daddy’sThe Coffee Shop and Spoon. One of our favorite places for an early dinner is Momoya, which gets packed at normal dinner time, but since we are there for the early bird special, we always walk right in.

 

Books of Wonder (left) and the Museum of Mathematics (left) (Photos: Courtesy Lauren Patterson)

Books of Wonder
Books of Wonder is our favorite neighborhood bookstore. It is actually New York City’s oldest independent children’s bookstore. It feels like a small town mom-and-pop shop. In the back of the store they display and sell one-of-a-kind original prints from some of my favorite children’s authors, and they even have drop-in kid’s classes, run by Swaddle Waddle, that our kids love. 18 W 18th St., 212-989-3270, booksofwonder.com

Museum of Mathematics
We became members of the Museum of Mathematics last year after I met some girlfriends there for a playdate. It is located in a gorgeous space on the north side of Madison Square Park.  Even though intuitively it doesn’t seem appropriate for young kids (we have two under 2), what is so wonderful is that each exhibit in the museum is so well curated, that it can be enjoyed by all ages, including adults. It is also an amazing deal. You can get a family membership that is tax deductible for $99 a year, and it is a great winter activity for the whole family. 11 E 26th St., 212-542-0566, momath.org

 

Working at the Ace Hotel (Photo: Courtesy Lauren Patterson)

Ace Hotel
Not having an actual office has made me a connoisseur of the places with W-Fi in our neighborhood. The Ace Hotel is my favorite place to work. You don’t have to be a guest of the hotel or even purchase any food or drinks to work there. The concierge hands out Wi-Fi codes at the front desk. They have outlets galore, couches and every option for seating, and great people watching. 20 W 29th St., 212-679-222, acehotel.com

The Parks
If the weather is nice, we like to go to one of the parks. In our neighborhood, Madison Square Park is great, and in the summer the lawn is open. The Hudson River Park at 23rd Street has a great playground with water and a carousel. Our kids still take naps so usually two activities is the max they can handle.

Alison Kleinert is a mom and writer living in New York City. She created her website CrushworthyMoms to feature moms who are living their life with passion and excited about what they are pursuing. She is currently doing the same. Click here to read more of her New York City picks.